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LGA - Queen's Speech: Councils respond to adoption plans

A response to the recent announcement of an Education and Adoption Bill, which contains measures to encourage councils to join together to create regional adoption agencies.

Responding to the Education and Adoption Bill set out in the Queen's Speech, which contains measures to encourage councils to join together to create regional adoption agencies, Cllr David Simmonds, Chairman of the Local Government Association's Children and Young People Board, said:

"Finding loving homes for children is one of the most important jobs that councils do and there are already many excellent examples of councils working together on regional approaches to adoption across the country.

"It is important that we now build on the success of recent years, which have seen record numbers of children adopted and delays cut significantly. This has been helped by the positive working relationship between independent adoption agencies and local and national government, and regional collaboration has been a strong feature of this success. But there continue to be delays in the courts and legal proceedings must be sped up to provide much-needed homes.

"Regional adoption boards are now in place throughout England, collecting and sharing examples of good local practice and encouraging stronger joint working wherever possible. Collaboration works best when it is driven by the sector itself so the government's promise of financial and practical support for local areas to move forward with their own proposals is useful. Locally-led initiatives are far more effective than centrally-imposed structures and processes.

"We must also take care that the ongoing focus on adoption does not distract from the importance of other types of long and short-term care for vulnerable children. Adoption is not right for every child, and local and national government must continue to strive to improve the experience of all children in care – whether they are being looked after by friends or family, in foster care or a special guardianship arrangement, or in residential care."


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